CONGO is going GPL.

(This announcement is also being posted on stonekeep.com)

Over the last 12 years I’ve been working hard to develop CONGO into the best convention registration system I can manage. Since 2002, CONGO has been used for many events of all sizes, registering and printing badges for tens of thousands of attendees. There have been many successes and a few bumps, but all in all it’s been a great adventure.

Several events now rely heavily on CONGO for year-to-year attendee tracking, allowing online registration, keeping up-to-date history, managing thousands of attendees, as well as the relationship CONGO has to Zambia, the scheduling system.

It has always been my wish to make CONGO as widely available as possible. I’ve wanted to make it easy for people to use, allowing event managers to bring sanity, organization, and accountability to their registration processes. However, I’ve come to realize that my continuing hold on the software has limited its adoption. I am only a single developer, and it’s increasingly hard to make time to both develop CONGO and promote and market it sucessfully.

To that end, on February 1st, 2014, I will be releasing the CONGO source code, making it available to be downloaded under the Affero GPL license.

The code will be dual-licensed. Stonekeep will retain the copyright and license as documented on the website, but any organization or individual interested in using CONGO for free, under the terms of the A-GPL, will be able to do so.

This is not a code fork – I will continue to update and publish changes to the source code, and anyone can download the new versions as soon as they are committed.

By doing this, I hope to get wider adoption of the system, and bring more users, developers, and implementers on board.

Thank you everyone who has used CONGO, contributed bug reports and feature requests, or just worn a badge that has been printed by this system… I’m very proud of it, and I’m looking forward to new users and contributors.

      Dave Shevett
      Stonekeep Consulting.
      December, 2013

Some anticipated FAQs:

How will you make the code available?
I will be moving the entire code base from the existing Cloudforge account to Github. All bug tracking tickets will move as well.

Will you still host services at EventJ.com?
You betcha! CONGO will be deployed at EventJ.com for any event that needs hosted, maintained, supported environments.

Will you develop any code for CONGO that won’t be part of the AGPL codebase?
Maybe. If a customer requests a custom set of tools or enhancements and does not want the code released, I will be able to develop for that, and give them custom builds under the existing license; that’s the reason for the dual licensing.

Can I contribute code?
Yes, please! The source code will be constantly updated on github. If you have patches or changes to contribute, I’ll happily accept them! If you want to be a regular contributor, I can give you commit permissions.

What are some details about CONGO?
CONGO is written in Java, utilizing Swing, JSPs, and other well known Java tools. It uses Maven for build and dependency management, and Liquibase for database versioning. It deploys as a single .war file into a J2EE web container like Tomcat or Jetty. It uses MySQL for it’s back end database. The total code is approximately 55,000 lines, consisting of 16,000 lines of Java, 13,000 lines of XML, 21,000 lines of JSP, and 4800 lines of CSS..

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